Fine Indian Dining at Crowne Plaza Soaltee

Kakori serves fresh North West Indian dishes with a new menu.

Text by Basudha Rai

Jal Jeera, holy water of the tangy variety of drinks, in a shot glass, started our memorable dinner at Kakori of Crowne Plaza Soaltee. Only open for dinner, Kakori is a renowned restaurant appreciated by many for its North West Indian cuisine. Our dining experience was also special, as Kakori had just officially launched a new menu.

Papadums, an array of chutneys, and freshly cut onions were presented on the table before the delicious starters of Rumali Paneer Tikka, tender cottage cheese pieces marinated with spices and yogurt, Surkh Malai Khumb, beautiful fresh stuffed mushrooms, and Elaichi Murgh Malai, succulent boneless chicken pieces were laid out. Claimed to be the best fine dining Indian restaurant in Nepal, Kakori definitely does not disappoint. Specially trained staff, excellent service, and mouthwatering delicacies in a classy traditional ambience define the experience at Kakori, which one should try at least once.

With thick foliage and winding driveway leading to the grand lobby, entering the Crowne Plaza Soaltee is already an experience. Kakori is no different. The restaurant is close to the poolside, and offers an enclosed setting with regal Nepali and Indian architecture and a rich fusion of class and antique artifacts.

Hosting chef of the evening, Hardev S.Saini, Chef de Cuisine of Crowne Plaza Rohini, New Delhi, is the man behind the new menu at Kakori, which changes its menu every two years, and this time it was done by Chef Hardev, who has three decades of experience.

Tawa Gosht, an aromatic mutton dish with good-sized mutton pieces in dark gravy, led us to the wonderful main course. Tandoori Malai Broccoli was a surprise, especially with the other traditional Indian dishes served to us, but it complemented the meal wonderfully. More surprising was the size of the wonderful broccoli. Fresh and straight off the stalk, it was beautifully grilled with cheese and spices. The Do Din Ki Dal, unlike its name, which is derived from the length of time to specially prepare the lentil, is freshly prepared and served.

Chef Hardev and Chef Mahesh Gupta joined the group for dinner, speaking of the new menu and the details it required; from sourcing each ingredient from special places in India and reaching out for support from their sister hotels to bring the best to the customers in Kakori.

Chef Gupta will be taking over the new menu at Kakori, and he has a wide range of experiences in various styles of cuisines, ranging from Mughlai and Nawabi to Awadh and Persian. The exciting new menu does not just stop there. Let’s talk dessert!

Eight different special dessert choices, excluding the usual ice-creams, made it tough to decide. We settled for Chef Hardev’s special, an unexpected chocolate-stuffed Gulab Jamun, with its gooey, yummy dark chocolate inside a larger than life gulab jamun. Another unique flavor, which you’ll only find at Kakori, is the Gulkand aur Chenne ki Jugalbandi, a dessert with rasmalai, stuffed with rose petal jam and condensed milk.

Kakori (01-4272555) is located at Crowne Plaza Kathmandu-Soaltee, Tahachal; open for dinner every day from 7 p.m.; kitchen closes at 10:45 p.m.